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Bandsaw Problem

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NJH13/02/2013 14:03:23
2314 forum posts
139 photos

Hi Guys

I have an INCA bandsaw ( Model 342-186) which is an invaluable asset for any woodwork associated with my main ME interest, any feeble attempts at cabinet making and, most importantly, cutting up donations from my wood turning neighbour as lighting for the woodburner. ( We call these donations "Dave's Heroic Failures" - pretty dangerous this woodturning hobby!)

The problem is that the saw will not start but just hums when switched on. Now I have removed the blade, switched on and spun the driven wheel which then runs OK. I surmise therefore that there is a faulty starter capacitor . Does anyone have knowledge of these saws and can tell me just where the capacitor is located before I tear the whole thing apart.?

Thanks (hopefully)


Keith Long13/02/2013 14:13:18
879 forum posts
11 photos

Hi Norman

At a guess inside the box on the side of the motor.

It would be worth checking if the cetrifugal switch (if fitted) is working, it could be stuck open and not connecting the capacitor for start up. If there is a switch you might just be able to hear it click open as the motor runs up or more likely hear it click closed during coast down. The latter is possibly easier as the motor might well be quieter during coasting than accelerating.


Edited By Keith Long on 13/02/2013 14:13:40

John Stevenson13/02/2013 14:40:45
5068 forum posts
3 photos
Posted by NJH on 13/02/2013 14:03:23:

Hi Guys

The problem is that the saw will not start but just hums when switched on.

Thanks (hopefully)



Can you recognise the tune ?

Robbo13/02/2013 16:05:27
1504 forum posts
142 photos


I would go with Keith in checking the centifugal switch first. Dust can get in and jam them. Start the motor by hand, as you have done, then switch off and listen carefully for the click as the switch closes.

No click, then check through the end of the motor at the terminal end. The switch is normally ON to connect the starter coils, and when speed gets up it switches OFF to the running coils only.

Hope this is undrstandable.


Ed Duffner13/02/2013 16:05:45
840 forum posts
94 photos

I had a similar problem on the lathe my Dad made. The motor would just hum and not start. I took it apart and found as Keith suggested above, a centrifugal switch was sticking. A good clean and regrease was all it needed and now it starts every time. The centrifugal switch can also be heard clicking out as the motor spins down to a halt.

Just to add another point, I could get the motor to spin by hand before cleaning but it would not self start.

Edited By Ed Duffner on 13/02/2013 16:07:35

Stub Mandrel13/02/2013 19:51:27
4315 forum posts
291 photos
1 articles

Wd40 might be a temporary fix to 'prove' the sticky switch, but no substitute for a proper clean and a drop of oil on the pivot. Could also be dirty contacts on the switch.


Ian S C14/02/2013 10:42:37
7468 forum posts
230 photos

Some small motors us a current relay (you'll proberbly find one on your fridge), no centrifugal switch, I think if these give up, you just replace them, but I imagine it would be worth looking to see if the contacts are OK.

As the others have said, the centrifugal switch is the first thing to look at.

I think the idea of the relay on the frig is that being a sealed unit, the less bits and pieces inside the unit the better. Ian S C

Edited By Diane Carney on 14/02/2013 13:54:20

EtheAv8r14/02/2013 13:13:54
111 forum posts
3 photos

I have had similar problems in the past with both my little Clarke woodworker bandsaw and my table saw. On both occasions a good stripdown and thorough clean out of wood dust in the motor and switch/gear (blow out with compressor and suck with vacuum cleaner) resolved the matter.

Hopefully yours will be a similar simple issue.

Clive Foster14/02/2013 14:16:51
3172 forum posts
113 photos

My Alpine H/V bandsaw suffers similar start problems on a pretty regular basis. Certainly centrifugal switch in this case. Done the strip'n clean fix a few times but it never lasts more than a year to 18 months so I now just whack the thing when it hums jarring the switch into working. Not exactly inspector meticulous engineering but its been successful for getting on for 30 years now! If the motor does go pop I've have a decent quality replacement in stock for 20 odd years. (Or I may just junk the saw now I have a Rapidor and proper Startrite vertical about the place. Alpine is rubbish now, was rubbish when new but it works well enough to be just about tolerable.)


NJH14/02/2013 18:32:28
2314 forum posts
139 photos

Hi Guys

Thanks for your input. I've started the saw by spinning the wheel and, when I remove the power, no click as it slows down. From your comments then the centrifugal switch is a strong contender. I got out my compressor with the idea of giving it all a fierce blow - but guess what - the nut on the hose broke as I was tightening it angry ( rubbish cheapo cast job) I managed to make a temporary fix with the ubiquitous "gaffer tape" and raised enough pressure to blow through the motor - all to no avail. There is a cowling over the outer end of the motor which I should probably remove but just how this is fixed is not at the moment clear and I guess I will need to get in there to find the switch. I do love these little distractions that just get bigger and bigger!!



Edited By NJH on 14/02/2013 18:33:20

Keith Long14/02/2013 18:43:15
879 forum posts
11 photos

Hi Norman

What make is the motor? It might be worth seeing if the motor manufacturer has any service parts diagrams or exploded views on their website. The switch (if one is fitted) could be in either end really but most probably the "non-business" end.


noel shelley16/02/2013 16:26:04
1435 forum posts
23 photos

Hi Norman, the centrifugal switch is a good start, a current sensing relay or electronic relay is less likely in this application. DO NOT leave the motor humming for more than a few seconds. The start windings draw many times the running current and will very quickly over heat, destroying them. IF you don't hear the switch click in as the motor slows down to rest then follow others instructions. Another very likely reason is failure of the condenser or it's wiring. To test the wiring is just a simple continuity test but to test the condenser you will need a good multimeter(or a friend with one ). First discharge it with a 100Kohm 1/2w resistor,across the terminals, condensers of this size can give a nasty shock if left charged, even after several days. Look at the reading and compare with the data on the label,. If less than 20% of value it is almost certain to be your problem. Look for a motor rewind specialist, they will test or confirm your diagnosis and £10-15 should get a new one.

good luck, Noel

Glenn Darce06/09/2015 15:09:38
1 forum posts

Hi Norman It's know 2015 did you fix your 342 Inca electrical starting problem ? HOW !!

I am having the same problem. Were you ever able to fine some kind of electrical drawing are schematic ?

Vic06/09/2015 16:06:01
3089 forum posts
16 photos

Posted by John Stevenson on 13/02/2013 14:40:45:

Posted by NJH on 13/02/2013 14:03:23:

Hi Guys

The problem is that the saw will not start but just hums when switched on.

Thanks (hopefully)



Can you recognise the tune ?

Made me laugh John. wink smiley

norman valentine06/09/2015 16:19:52
280 forum posts
40 photos

Hi Norman, I'm happy to try to help another Norman.

I had a similar problem in a jig saw, it just hummed when I switched on but when I gave it a push it would start. Does yours do that? The cause was a burnt out wire in the start coil. I was ready to throw it away and buy a new motor but was persuaded, by advice, that it might be a simple solder repair at the end of one of the coils in the motor. That is what it proved to be and I was able to fix it. It is still working three years later.


john fletcher 106/09/2015 18:00:22
805 forum posts

If your motor is a capacitor start type you will find a cylindrical object fastened externally to the motor and I don't think it is. These saws don't start on load,so the motor is more likely to be split phase, just two windings and a centrifugal switch in series with the start winding. As the motor buzzes it proves that the run winding is continuous and is in working order, so its a start winding fault.I suggest you carefully take the motor apart and check the internal centrifugal switch, maybe the contacts have jammed open. Whilst you have it apart you can check the start winding for continuity with a battery and bell or a car battery and 12 volt bulb. As wood dust is present DON'T lubricate the switch mechanism it will only clog up things and don't go blasting away with compressed air either, as most compressed air contains water droplets, Suck out the dust with a vacuum cleaner, aided by a clean paint brush.Ted

Robbo06/09/2015 20:09:16
1504 forum posts
142 photos


These INCA bandsaws are French made, so it was probably just on strike.

They have a Leroy-Somer Capacitor start motor, unusually the motor is directly connected to the bottom bandsaw wheel, no pulley/belt, so they do have a bigger start load. This also means that the motor is directly under the saw table, so right in the Sawdust line.

All your advice is spot on

NJH28/12/2015 11:25:50
2314 forum posts
139 photos

I was just browsing through some old posts and came across this thread of mine where I see I have not given the outcome!

Sorry - after faffing about with no success I solved the problem - I took the saw to our local tip and threw it into the skip ! I then drove over to Axminster Power Tools and bought one of their small bandsaws! It is quite OK for my occasional needs. I did feel a bit bad about it as the INCA was a nicely built saw but the Axminster quite meets my requirements which are to cut wood -occasionally - not to carry out repair on old equipment for which, it seems , there is no documentation or spares.

For those of you who have patiently been awaiting the outcome I apologise and trust that you are now satisfied!

Happy New Year!


Speedy Builder528/12/2015 12:03:01
2642 forum posts
217 photos

Oh dear Norman, committed the ultimate sin - YOU THREW IT AWAY. We muddlers just have to find out what went wrong, spend inordinate amounts of time (and expense sometimes) to come to a satisfactory outcome. that's my rant over. Hope you are happy with the new one and that it gives you many years of pleasure whilst the rest of us shed a little tear for the little INCA.
Oh, by the way, here is the handbook !!!!



NJH28/12/2015 12:23:39
2314 forum posts
139 photos

Yes Bob - it pained me deeply to throw it away but now at least I am (starting) on the long road to tidyness. I have found ( and still do find) getting rid of "stuff" difficult - when I have done so in the past I nearly always find a use for it a couple of days later! However ....... there are just the two of us (plus a dog) here in quite a large house with a double garage that has never housed a car. EVERYWHERE is full of "stuff" . New years resolution - to get rid of "stuff" !

I will update with my progress in 2017 - if I haven't buried the computer under "stuff" by then!


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